Tips for summer safety as outdoor fun returns
Summer is here and we've got a bit more freedom to enjoy it this year. For many kids, it's time to get outside and enjoy summer break.
But with the joys of summer come the bug bites, bumps, bruises and other injuries that can happen along the way. Here are a few ways to help keep your children safe while they have fun in the sun.
Bees, mosquitoes, spiders and ticks -- insects are just as active as your kids during the summer months. Before your child goes out to play, remember:
• Apply an insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin.
• To avoid bee and wasp stings, keep food and drinks covered when eating outside and don't wear bright or floral-patterned clothing. If your child is allergic to stings, always carry an EpiPen.
• To avoid mosquito bites, keep children away from the slow-moving or stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
• Ticks are abundant this time of year, so if playing in tall grass or wooded areas, dress children in long sleeves and pants and perform a thorough, head-to-toe tick check before entering the house. If you find one, use fine-tipped tweezers and pull upward in a slow, steady motion to safely remove the entire tick. Clean the affected area with soap and water. If a fever or rash develops, contact your child's health care provider.
When kids are hard at play, there's always a chance for concussion. Helmets are a must for fast-moving activities, such as biking and skateboarding. If your child hits their head -- with or without a helmet -- be sure to watch them for possible symptoms of concussion, which can include:
• Blurred vision or sensitivity to light
• Changes in eating or sleeping
• Difficulty concentrating or remembering
• Excessive crying
• Headaches or neck pain
• Lack of energy
• Loss of balance
• Mood change, such as crankiness or irritability
• Vomiting or the urge to vomit
If you suspect a concussion or if symptoms last one to two days, be sure to seek medical attention.
Kids just want to have fun, but to help keep them from getting hurt, follow these safety tips:
• For younger kids, try to find a playground with soft bedding or mulch at least 12 inches deep to help cushion falls
• Keep them hydrated
• Keep them cool by limiting their time in extreme heat
• Make sure trampolines are in good repair and other kids are there to act as spotters
• Never leave your child unattended at the pool or lake
• Make sure they're wearing their helmets when bicycling and helmets, elbow and knee pads when skateboarding
With a bit more freedom from the COVID-19 pandemic this year, we all want to take full advantage of the summer. Do all you can to make it a safe, enjoyable summer for the whole family.
• Children's health is a continuing series. This week's article is courtesy of Amita Health.